Release Date: May 16, 2013
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SIFMA Strongly Disagrees with CFTC’s Final SEF Rules
New York, NY, May 16, 2013—SIFMA today released the following statements after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) voted on final rules governing swap execution facilities (SEFs).
Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., acting president and CEO, stated:
“While SIFMA will review the CFTC’s new SEF and execution rules in detail with our members, upon first read we strongly disagree with the CFTC’s final rules and believe as drafted they will negatively impact investors and hinder the ability of American businesses to manage risk contrary to intent. Restricting an institution’s ability to manage risk will discourage responsible capital management, limit job creation and dampen economic growth.
“The CFTC’s decision to impose a minimum bid requirement for certain swap transactions executed on SEFs will impair market liquidity at the expense of all market participants, ultimately harming the everyday investors that the rule aims to protect.
“We are equally troubled by the CFTC’s rule for determining block sizes. SIFMA believes that the CFTC’s methodology in determining block sizes is flawed and results in arbitrary outcomes that are not based on observable market data. Although the determination in the first year is an improvement on what had been proposed, we believe that it is too restrictive and not adequately justified. Additionally, we strongly support the efforts of Commissioner O’Malia to propose amendments that would have injected credibility and objectivity to the process. We urge the CFTC to reconsider the methodology for determining block trades after the initial phase-in period.”
Timothy Cameron, managing director and head of SIFMA’s Asset Management Group (AMG), added:
“SIFMA’s Asset Management Group continues to believe that any minimum-bid requirement will tie the hands of portfolio managers who already have a fiduciary obligation to serve the best interests of their clients. Requiring portfolio managers to broadcast their trading position more widely than they would otherwise choose could negatively impact the prevailing price of their trades, making it more expensive and difficult to hedge their clients’ risk. SIFMA strongly believes that professional investment managers, and not the government, should determine appropriate trading strategy.”
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers. SIFMA's mission is to support a strong financial industry, investor opportunity, capital formation, job creation and economic growth, while building trust and confidence in the financial markets. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit http://www.sifma.org.